Remember the greatest gifts you got. Was it your birthday, a holiday, an anniversary? Chances are that what you’re thinking about is something wrapped in paper or an Amazon Prime box. The truth is we associate gifts with positive experiences, but have you ever stopped to think where your best lessons came from.
The greatest gifts, are not that time you accidentally dropped the Thanksgiving Turkey on the floor. There is no way that a gift is losing money on investments, having a business go bust or even breaking up with your significant other.
Or is it?
The truth is that every mistake we make is a gift. It is a chance to learn and grow. There are four types of mistakes that are gifts that serve as opportunities to strengthen your character and your resolve.
Scott Berkun sums-up “stupid mistakes” as simple freak accidents, such as stubbing your toe, spilling a drink, tripping over your dog on your walk because they went to chase a cat. Most people simply take these moments as they come and deal with it, then move on.
However, believe it or not, these are the greatest gifts that we get every day. These moments allow us to change how we respond to things that come up. When was the last time you kicked a table or wall and stubbed your toe? How did you react? Did you jump up and down, yell and curse, or did you laugh it off?
Choosing your response rather than simply reacting during these moments helps, you train your emotional response for times of real stress. It’s like boot camp for your emotions. Try to be calm and neutral when you make silly mistakes because these small moments train you for better self-control when it matters.
These types of mistakes happen often and are usually avoidable. The problem is that the decisions we make, make them inevitable. These are the oversights you should have prepared for. You were having a get-together and even though 12 people RSVP’d you only bought enough snacks for 10 people. When people showed up with unexpected guests, and your total jumped to 15 people. Now you have to make a food run.
Use these gifts as opportunities to assess your planning. If you notice, you always are under-supplied, learn from it. Learn a valuable lesson about your planning style and avoid future simple mistakes in planning. The more of these mistakes you make, the better at planning you will become…as long as you learn.
If you’re chronically late to work, this type of mistake is a complex mistake. If you’re always late back from lunch. It is a complex mistake. We understand the mistake and know the benefit of changing. However, when it comes down to it, you do it anyways then feel bad about it. Why? First, it takes effort to change the outcome. If you see the mistake as harmless it will be hard to change. However, if you see how these mistakes cost you and company money, and time then change is easier. We only learn from complex mistakes when we can dissect them and break them down into its elements. This takes practice.
The elements of the mistake are important to find because they can be areas in your life that are habitual. These habitual mistakes are perhaps the most dangerous because they usually fly under the radar and are easily dismissed….that’s just the way I am.
Getting feedback can be a great way to break the habits of mistakes. A good friend or mentor is an unparalleled resource when turning mistakes into gifts. Your sounding board could be a journal you write in, your spouse, a colleague, a therapist, or a mentor. Whoever or whatever you select to be your sounding board, make sure you will accept honest feedback about the situation so you can look for ways to improve upon yourself and learn from your mistake.
Learning from your mistakes is a great way to see the gifts that the universe is trying to give you. You can get the gift of self-control, planning, behaviour modification, and self-improvement. You only get to grow if you see the gifts in your mistakes. Read more blogs in this link.